Ask Waffles, The Sucko Edition.
Sucko being the jealous hater he is was very interested in my job situation. I find in this unstable economy there are many haters. Normally I do not speak about my job on the blog. The reason for this is simple. The one thing I have done reasonably right in my life is work. In converse proportion to my luck in games of skill and chance I tend to be very fortunate in my working experience. We all know this blog is all about the train wreck. I love to whine and moan. Call it a generic trait. Today however I will indulge you and mention some things about my working situation.
In order to get a job like mine you have to be highly educated. In other words you should drop out of school and get your GED. I took this path and have never really regretted it. I probably have a masters of computer science in my brain but it has all been self taught. It has nothing to do with a hard work ethic per say, although I do work very hard to keep up with technology. It is more to do with the fact I love computers and can spend many fascinating hours playing around with the next new thing.
Early in my career I had to dress like what I affectionately refer to as the "Suited Retarded Monkeys". Alright it may not be all that friendly. Fuck I laugh at these guys wearing "power suits" and making less than me. So sue me. My dress code is very strict. I have a bunch of old polo shirts from defunct companies like Bank of Boston and Baybanks. I wear these everyday. The majority of the time I can wear jeans. If we have clients in house I am required to put on khakis.
It varies but I have been employed consulting without more than a week off for the last 20 years. I have made between 100-175K a year all that time.
I come in when I wander out of bed usually. I am mostly in before 10:00 but sometimes I oversleep. I have always liked to test the boundaries and if a client pushes back I become a good boy for a little while. Normally when I first start a job I will be in by 9:00 every day. You can not start out insane, you have to let it build.
I go through different phases of employment. I am always the one to decide to leave as my employers all end up loving my work. Normally I am not happy in a contract for more than two years. I like the new-development feel I guess. I like the start of a project. There is a ton of work and a real drive to complete something. This is the exciting part. It is here that I thrive. I think my greatest skill is being able to get a myriad of things done. Period. I may not be the best at everything or anything but I know how to get things done. I know what makes a solid, maintainable, system.
Once the initial drive is over, in about six months to a year, you get into a secondary phase. You are either developing new systems to support the main system you wrote, or preparing for a big rollout, or fixing any of the last issues that may have come up. Still a lot of fun. A ton to do. At this point of time you are so enmeshed into the project and have done such a good job, that you have the super star tag.
A year to two years it becomes a maintenance gig. You have a lot of knowledge in the applications you built. Occasionally there is a nice, meaty chunk of work but it all slows down. It is around this time I get severely bored. I will most often look for new work at the two year mark. Get a fresh dose of new people, learning new systems, maybe switch business focus. I will sometimes stay in a solid job if the economy is bad or I just do not feel like looking. Usually this is a mistake as boredom is bad for me and causes me to come in late and not be the best employee ever. I get my work done. I do the minimum. I work like, well, honestly, like normal employees.
I will give you a recap of the day. Today I wandered in around 10:30. Actually the wife overslept today but I was tired too. I open up the Outlook, Instant Messenger, and Firefox. I get Facebook and GoogleReader going. I then check my email and some daily run jobs to make sure there are no emergencies. Today I had some installs that had to get in so I took care of those. I try and get through my 1000's of blogs in Bloglines and catchup with any Facebook quizzes and the like. It is usually lunch time by then. So I go out, get lunch, spend a nice quiet hour eating lunch. I get back. See if there are any development things I need to do. Get those done. Finish up on Facebook. Girlie chat with people who work off hours, or are unemployed, or are allowed IM at work. Surprisingly this is a lot of people. Around 2-3 I get my exercise in. I go out and walk for about a half hour. Come back with a drink. I then either finish off any work I have or Facebook it up for the rest of the day. I leave when I am bored. Usually between 4-5:30. Rinse. Repeat.
In general I feel really fortunate in this aspect of my life. I give the impression that I do not work hard.. and at the end of projects, this is probably true. I have worked really hard to get where I am and when projects start off I do work extremely hard. I also try and leave as close to two years as I can because I understand my weaknesses and would much rather be busy and satisfied than bored. So there you go. A peek into the things that are going right in Waffles world. Who knew? Please do not be hatahs.